There is nothing like some good old-fashioned networking to help close the gap from the modern-day disconnect created by websites like Facebook and Twitter.
Since their formation in October, the Queens Young Professionals (QYP) networking group has brought together a growing number of business owners, entrepreneurs and youthful minds in the Queens business community to help grow a base of local corporate camaraderie.
Ian Magerkurth, one of the group’s founding members, has watched his vision grow over the last several months, already fulfilling his original plan to revitalize the face of the borough.
“If you look at Queens now, it’s a very diverse borough,” Magerkurth said atop the Hunters Point Plaza penthouse, where the group mingled and pitched business strategies at the group’s third get-together. “It’s very big, and there’s a large population of young professionals all around.”
Magerkurth, along with co-founder Eric Abrams, have reached out to the local papers, sent emails, and utilized numerous networking websites to develop a face-to-face base for meeting and discussing new ideas.
“This is an organization that’s not political or anything, but focuses on the business aspect of business in Queens, and kind of cultivating the next leaders of Queens,” he explained.
Abrams, 27, a digital media and membership associate with the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said the group is at the beginning of a larger plan, remaining hopeful that their monthly gatherings will spark similar interests, yet unique to the booming growth of their neighboring borough in Brooklyn.
“What’s most assuring is that people are starting to know each other,” Abrams said of his young, but growing group. “Part of the goal is to build a community and do business together in Queens.”
“I’ve made dozens of personal contacts which I would not have made otherwise,” Abrams said.
Vladimir Lackovic, 24, the chief operating officer of Digital Natives Group, has been adding to his contact list since he first began attending the networking events, and remains optimistic that the group will shape a sustainable affiliation with the community.
“There are a lot of companies that have recently moved into L.I.C., and there wasn’t this type of place to meet and establish ideas at first,” Lackovic explained. “We will help each other make Queens a better place for business.”
Lackovic, a recent Baruch College graduate in business and entrepreneurship, is of the “old-school” train of thought, where greeting future clients face-to-face is the best way to successfully build business partners.
“You need that personal connection, and it is better to talk to someone and see who you’re interacting with,” he explained. “I think that Queens needed this push to become a proud neighborhood, and I think that young people are going to be the ones that are going to start working on that.”